DIY Photo Pen Block

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DIY Photo Pen Block-- This make's a great gift! |

I hope you all had a very merry Christmas! I took two weeks off from writing and crafting to enjoy my holiday in Vermont with all of my wonderful in-laws. I feel so very lucky to look forward to, rather than dread, spending time with all of them. However, Christmas is over and I’ve been antsy to get back to blogging. Today I’m going to share how I DIY-ed my way through Christmas gift giving. It’s a little late, I know. I have such an amazing supportive family and they are readers of Grace and Thane, so I didn’t want them to find out what I was making!

Photo Pen Block

My father-in-law is such a blessing in my life. He’s a very intelligent, supportive, and understanding man. That being said, he is always so hard to gift for me. But, if there’s one thing that’s certain, he loves his grand-kids. With a big help from my husband, together we made this DIY Photo Pen Block.

  1. We took a 3.5″ wooden block and stained it in Minwax’s Special Walnut.
  2. We then drilled 5 holes on top with a 3/4″ drill bit so that it could fit bigger pens with the grips on them.
  3. Wal-Mart’s instant photo kiosk’s were able to print out our 4 favorite pictures of grandpa and the kids in 4″ squares.
  4. Once I trimmed them to size a little more, I used mod podge to glue the photos to the square. I then applied another coat of mod podge over the top of the photos to sort of seal and protect them. I used a foam brush and it came out a little streaky so I recommend using the brush specifically made for mod podge.

DIY Photo Pen Block-- This make's a great gift!| graceandthane.comDIY Photo Pen Block-- This make's a great gift!| graceandthane.comDIY Photo Pen Block-- This make's a great gift!|

Here are the products I used to make this. I thought it was so unique and from the heart, and he absolutely loves it.

Products Used

Arm Knitted Blankets

My mother and sister in law’s both have recently  moved from warmer climates to now colder areas, so I made them both these 45 minute arm knit blankets from Simply Maggie. I used this Loops and Threads Biggie Yarn in black for my sister and white for my mother. It took a good 6 skeins for each 3 x 5 un-stretched blanket. I had so much fun making them though, and I believe they loved them! If you want to know more about arm knitting, here’s a link to my previous post What I Learned About Arm Knitting.

What I Learned About Arm Knitting-- My thoughts on this hobby turned addiction ;) |

Customized Tumblers

There were a few people in my family that use drink tumblers often, if not on the daily. My daughter has just started kindergarten this year, and her hand drawn pictures have grown leaps and bounds in the short time she’s been in school.

I knew there were such things as drink tumblers that have inserts that can be drawn on or pictures inserted into them. So I had her make a picture on each one, custom to who she was making it for. I had her do the same with unfinished photo frames and then put her school picture in each one of those. To top it off we had a few unfinished clay magnets lying in my craft drawer so she painted one for each person. Butterflies hold a meaningful significance for us so there were a few of those and a cupcake one for her crazy baker auntie. We had a good afternoon bonding and decorating.

Products Used

Toddler Busy Board

I also received a DIY gift for our 1 1/2 year old son from his grandmother. It’s what I’ve dubbed a “busy board”. It has a handle for easy carrying and to hang on a hook on the wall, and all sorts of fun contraptions for him to figure out. He really enjoys playing with all of the grown up parts, especially the door stopper!

Busy Board-- With a few simple hardware options, a plain piece of board can keep a quite toddler busy!|

Little ones love these!

It felt so good to make things that I knew everyone was going to get a lot of use out of and enjoy. What are some gifts you have DIY-ed for a holiday? Let me know in the comments below 🙂

Happy New Year everyone!


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